Mindfulness education is an increasingly popular approach to teaching young children how to manage their emotions and cope with anxiety. This approach involves teaching children how to be more present in the moment, to focus on their breath, and to be aware of their thoughts and feelings without judgment. Mindfulness education can be particularly beneficial for preschoolers, who are just beginning to learn about their emotions and how to interact with the world around them.
Preschool teacher Midge Leavey has developed a successful mindfulness program for young children. Leavey’s program is based on the idea that mindfulness can help children develop concentration and focus, which are important skills for academic success. Additionally, she believes that mindfulness can help children to feel happier and more peaceful, reducing anxiety and stress.
Leavey’s program involves teaching young children how to control their breathing in order to calm themselves down. She teaches them to breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth, and to focus on their breath as a way of centering themselves. She also uses visualization exercises to help children imagine themselves in peaceful situations, such as lying on a beach or floating in a pool.
Leavey’s program has been so successful that it is now part of the regular preschool curriculum in New York State. Parents have reported that their children are less anxious and more focused since starting the program, and some have even seen improvements in their academic performance. The video features interviews with parents who have been impressed by the program, as well as footage of children practicing mindfulness exercises in the classroom.
One parent, whose daughter Lily suffered from separation anxiety, praised Leavey’s program for its individualized approach. He appreciated that the program allowed Lily to calm down and meditate, rather than feeling like she had to conform to a specific curriculum or set of expectations. Another parent, Jessica Diresta, was surprised to find that her son Vincent, whom she had thought would have no problem transitioning away from home, also struggled with separation anxiety. She ultimately found the program helpful in helping Vincent to adjust to preschool.
Levy’s program was inspired by her own experiences as a mother, when she struggled to help her son TJ cope with separation anxiety.